Last night Super Donkey started on a mission to raise money to get his cat back from the vet (step one: find a new vet), and even though he has already raised enough cash, you still need to check out his wonderful work.
Handmade Journal from Time for Tea Me
I’ve got bad news! Yes, you’ve probably heard already, back to school is right around the corner. Growing up I was that geeky kid who looked forward to back to school – big time! Sure I loved vacations, winter and summer breaks – but by the end of the summer I was ready for some new school supplies and to see what the new year would bring. It’s been years now since I’ve gone to school, but I still find that with fall approaching I’m usually starting to think it’s time for a sweater or some new kicks right around this time of year. And this year’s no different. Because I work from home here and again I justify some fun new office supplies or some art for around my desk. At this point I’ve got more art than I need and am thinking it’s time to get that art wall started that I’ve planned for ages….. But I digress!
Today I’d like to show you some of my finds from the world of handmade that might help you face a new school year with a smile or to feel just a little happier that fall is right around the corner. Personally I couldn’t be more stoked that fall is almost here. It’s been just so darn hot all summer that I know I’ll be happy to see the leaves change color and to feel that nice bit of briskness in the air. Heck, I might as well start unpacking my scarves and fall clothes now with the way I’m talking….
Without further ado – here are some of the fun handmade back to school picks I’ve found.
Flower Notebook by Chikabird
Laptop Sleeve from Byrd and Belle
Pencil Case from Kukubee
How about you? Are you looking forward to fall and back to school or would you prefer an “endless summer”?
If that’s what you’ve got in mind – this 2011 calendar can be purchased now from Myan Print Shop!
I’ve never been one to do the tourist thing. As much as I love to travel, to get out, to meet new people, to try new foods; I much prefer to do all of the above as if I were a local. I find it even more difficult to swallow when the tourist thing surrounds an activity so warmly familiar it seems routine. My children on the other hand find joyous fun in even the simplest Saturday afternoon outings. It’s with that in mind that I found myself this past Saturday frequenting an overly-crowded and even more overly-priced — albeit local — orchard and cider mill. And yes, I did have fun.
Matthew Parker is a photographer with a distinctive point of view, and an incredibly unusual technique for sharing that point of view. He makes photographic collages, but don’t let the word “collage” let you think of chopped up, scattered, and randomly pasted-together images. Matthew’s photographic collages take the same time, planning, and critical decision making that any master painting would take.
Each collage starts out as a sketch. As a trained architect, Matthew is drawn to objects in the built environment, and how structures interact with their space. After sketching out how he would like his subject to appear, the camera comes out. Instead of chopping up photographs to create the individual collage elements, each piece is actually a single, complete, unaltered photograph, which was deliberately framed and angled to follow the lines of Matthew’s original sketch.
In addition to viewing his subjects through multiple angles, Matthew’s collages also add an element of time. The collages are made up of multiple photographs – more than thirty, sometimes approaching one hundred separate images – but they also span multiple time periods. Sometimes the photographs are taken over the course of a single day, or a time span of several hours. Some of the collages include images from several different months or years – all taken from the same spot, and all of the same subject.
Adding the element of time allows Matthew to portray how moods and atmosphere change over the time of day, or seasons of the year. The variations in the images allow the viewer to experience the subject in a way that a single photograph (or even a real-life visit) never could. Matthew’s collages are a totally unique way to understand and experience a subject.
Because of his background in architecture, Matthew is very drawn to the abundance of beautiful buildings in Washington DC. But one of his favorite subjects is the cherry blossoms, because the look of the blossoms change so dramatically in different light. Additionally, images of crowds are another favorite subject. People are never static, and multiple images layered on top of each other really help the viewer to feel like they are actually part of the crowd.
Matthew’s customers also love images of the cherry blossoms, probably for the same reasons he does, but also because they are such an iconic symbol of Washington, DC. If you see one you like, you need to act fast, because all the prints are limited edition, and won’t be available forever. New collages are always being planned, but there is no set schedule on when new ones will be introduced. After all, it could take years to capture all the necessary images!
Matthew is currently working on a collage of the tidal basin that has already been three years in the making. It’s not hard to imagine the difficulty of capturing the cherry blossoms during their notoriously short lifespan, and finding and maintaining the exact spot in the tidal basin days, months or years apart!
There are plenty of amazing collages in his current collection, depicting beautiful scenes of Washington DC as well as other cities. He’s even open to suggestions for new collages. If you have an idea, drop him a line and let him know!
You can see all of Matthew’s work at his online gallery, as well as purchase prints in various sizes from his online store, or from the National Building Museum shop. Also, you can visit Matthew’s web site to find him at fine art and craft shows in the DC area.
Print above is from The Big Harumph
As I write this, the New Year is just days away… Every year for as many years as I can remember I have had more resolutions than I could count: Eat less candy, workout more, save more money, be more tidy, and on and on the list goes. How about you? What kind of resolutions do you set each year?
This year I won’t set a single resolution. It’s not that I don’t think resolutions are valuable, I know they are! For me they’ve never lasted long, but I’m still glad that I kept each one for a week or two or three.
Image above is from The Wheatfield
This year I’m allowing myself to dream new dreams. Always a pragmatist, I’ll let you know that this is because I feel the time is right for me to try different things and to redefine what I value and what I would like my future to look like. So this means shifting my work focus, and spending more time doing things I love: decorating our family home, hiking, and hanging out with family and friends. It sounds simple, but something in me knows that this will fuel my creativity and my perspective.
Life’s disappointments often ask us to become jaded and to be fearful of trying new things. We so easily tell ourselves that we cannot accomplish the wonderful things we would like to do. This will be a year where my own voice grows stronger and as I work and rest and play I will remind myself that with diligence and persistence that I can accomplish new things.
Image above is from Valentina Design
I have heard experts suggest every year as we set resolutions that we be careful not to set too many, that we write them down and revisit them weekly. I am certain this is good advice, but this year – I’m choosing to dream and to believe that I will find growth both personally and artistically and that my life will continue to spring forth more beautifully than each year before it.
I want to hear your dreams and resolutions for the year ahead of us. It’s the perfect time of year for us to sweep away old disappointments and to look ahead with expectation!